Pillywiggins and the Tree Witch
by Julia Jarman
Andersen Press, 2012. 116 pgs. Intermediate
When Natasha and her family move to The Deepings, she discovers an old garden behind her house that seems filled with mystery and magic. For one thing, there is a rabbit only she can see perched on the branch of an old yew tree. And the tree looks and sounds like a witch. Then Jamie, a boy from the neighborhood, shows her Pillywiggins, a fairy imprisoned in stone by the Witch Tree because other fairies stole the Witch's baby boy. Can Natasha get through the fairy ring--in her house!--to retrieve Green Boy and free Pillywiggins? And if she gets in, can she get back out? These questions are answered in a more convenient ending than might seem reasonable to an adult, but children will be glad that the Fairy Queen no longer deals in changelings, and in a happy ending for all. Pillywiggins and the Tree Witch is a bit scary, but Natasha is as brave a young girl as one might imagine, and young chapter book readers should join in her adventures with pleasure.